QUESTION NO: 1200
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed)
by Deputy Darragh O'Brien
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 26/07/2017
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine his plans for the publication of a report (details supplied) into harness racing here in view of the fact that this report was due to be published in April 2017; the steps he is taking to promote and develop harness racing here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) Indecon report
In November 2016 the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine commissioned a report to review the Irish harness racing sector. An independent report was undertaken by Indecon International Consultants and this report is currently being examined by officials within my Department.
The Irish Harness Racing Association (IHRA) was a beneficiary, for the first time in 2016, of an Equine Infrastructure grant scheme operated by my Department. The IHRA has received grants totalling €21,704 under this scheme, with a view to supporting this sector in a targeted way.
In addition, the IHRA has been approved in 2017 for grants totalling €40,077 under the Equine Technical Support Scheme.
My Department has also offered assistance of the order of €25,000 to the IHRA "Road Racing Education Programme". This programme is aimed at bringing about an improvement in horse welfare and, in particular, to encourage a move away from road racing.